Criminal Procedure Act.
SUBCHAPTER I. GENERAL.
Definitions and General Provisions.
Criminal Law Definitions in North Carolina
* 15A-101. Definitions.
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following words have the listed meanings:
(1) Appeal. * When used in a general context, the term "appeal" also includes
appellate review upon writ of certiorari.
(1a) Attorney of Record. * An attorney who, under Article 4 of this Chapter, Entry
and Withdrawal of Attorney in Criminal Case, has entered a criminal
proceeding and has not withdrawn.
(2) Clerk. * Any clerk of superior court, acting clerk, or assistant or deputy clerk.
(3) District Court. * The District Court Division of the General Court of Justice.
(4) District Attorney. * The person elected and currently serving as district
attorney in his prosecutorial district.
(4a) Entry of Judgment. * Judgment is entered when sentence is pronounced.
Prayer for judgment continued upon payment of costs, without more, does not
constitute the entry of judgment.
(5) Judicial Official. * A magistrate, clerk, judge, or justice of the General Court
(6) Officer. * Law-enforcement officer.
(7) Prosecutor. * The district attorney, any assistant district attorney or any other
attorney designated by the district attorney to act for the State or on behalf of
the district attorney.
(8) State. * The State of North Carolina, all land or water in respect to which the
State of North Carolina has either exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction, and the
airspace above that land or water. "Other state" means any state or territory of
the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto
(9) Superior Court. * The Superior Court Division of the General Court of Justice.
(10) Superior Court Judge. * A superior court judge who has jurisdiction pursuant
to G.S. 7A-47.1 or G.S. 7A-48 in the district or set of districts as defined in
(11) Vehicle. * Aircraft, watercraft, or landcraft or other conveyance. (1973, c.
1286, s. 1; 1975, c. 166, s. 2; 1977, c. 711, s. 19; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c.
1037, s. 52; 1997-456, s. 27.)
* 15A-101.1. Electronic technology in criminal process and procedure.
As used in this Chapter, in Chapter 7A of the General Statutes, in Chapter 15 of the General
Statutes, and in all other provisions of the General Statutes that deal with criminal process or
NC General Statutes - Chapter 15A 2
(1) "Copy" means all identical versions of a document created or existing in paper
form, including the original and all other identical versions of the document in
(2) "Document" means any pleading, criminal process, subpoena, complaint,
motion, application, notice, affidavit, commission, waiver, consent, dismissal,
order, judgment, or other writing intended in a criminal or contempt
proceeding to authorize or require an action, to record a decision or to
communicate or record information. The term does not include search
warrants. A document may be created and exist in paper form or in electronic
form or in both forms. Each document shall contain the legible, printed name of the person who signed the document.
(3) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic,
wireless, optical, electromagnetic, Internet, or similar capabilities.
(3a) "Electronic monitoring" or "electronically monitor" or "satellite-based
monitoring" means monitoring with an electronic monitoring device that is
not removed from a person's body, that is utilized by the supervising agency
in conjunction with a Web-based computer system that actively monitors,
identifies, tracks, and records a person's location at least once every minute 24
hours a day, that has a battery life of at least 48 hours without being
recharged, that timely records and reports or records the person's presence
near or within a crime scene or prohibited area or the person's departure from
a specified geographic location, and that has incorporated into the software the
ability to automatically compare crime scene data with locations of all persons
being electronically monitored so as to provide any correlation daily or in real
time. In areas of the State where lack of cellular coverage requires the use of
an alternative device, the supervising agency shall use an alternative device
that works in concert with the software and records location and tracking data
for later download and crime scene comparison.
(4) "Electronic Repository" means an automated electronic repository for criminal
process created and maintained pursuant to G.S. 15A-301.1.
(5) "Electronic signature" means any electronic method of signing a document
that meets each of the following requirements:
a. Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the signer of the
document, is unique to the person using it, is capable of certification,
and is under the sole control of the person using it.
b. Is attached to or logically associated with the document in such a
manner that if the document is altered in any way without
authorization of the signer, the signature is invalidated.
c. Indicates that person's intent to issue, enter or otherwise authenticate
(6) "Entered" means signed and filed in the office of the clerk of superior court of
the county in which the document is to be entered.
Electronic technology in criminal process and procedure CONTINUED
A document may be
entered in either paper form or electronic form.
(7) "Filing" or "filed" means:
a. When the document is in paper form, delivering the original document
to the office where the document is to be filed. Filing is complete
NC General Statutes - Chapter 15A 3
when the original document is received in the office where the
document is to be filed.
b. When the document is in electronic form, creating and saving the
document, or transmitting it, in such a way that it is unalterably
retained in the electronic records of the office where the document is
to be filed. A document is "unalterably retained" in an electronic
record when it may not be edited or otherwise altered except by a
person with authorization to do so. Filing is complete when the
document has first been unalterably retained in the electronic records
of the office where the document is to be filed.
(8) "Issued" applies to documents in either paper form or electronic form. A
document that is first created in paper form is issued when it is signed. A
document that is first created in electronic form is issued when it is signed,
filed in the office of the clerk of superior court of the county for which it is to
be issued, and retained in the Electronic Repository.
(9) "Original" means:
a. A document first created and existing only in paper form, bearing the
original signature of the person who signed it. The term also includes
each copy in paper form that is printed through the facsimile
transmission of the copy bearing the original signature of the person
who signed it.
b. A document existing in electronic form, including the electronic form
of the document and any copy that is printed from the electronic form.
(10) "Signature" means any symbol, including, but not limited to, the name of an
individual, which is executed by that individual, personally or through an
authorized agent, with the intent to authenticate or to effect the issuance or
entry of a document. The term includes an electronic signature. A document
may be signed by the use of any manual, mechanical or electronic means that
causes the individual's signature to appear in or on the document. Any party
challenging the validity of a signature shall have the burden of pleading,
producing evidence, and proving the following:
a. The signature was not the act of the person whose signature it appears
b. If the signature is an electronic signature, the requirements of
subdivision (5) of this section have not been met. (2002-64, s. 1;
2011-245, s. 2(a); 2012-194, s. 6.)
Additional resources provided by the author
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